Fouad Elkoury

Fouad Elkoury

The Lost Empire

April 30 - May 29, 2014

FE_Balaton Airport _2010_Chromogenic Print Diasec _50x 75cm

Fouad Elkoury - The Lost Empire

The Third Line is pleased to present The Lost Empire, Fouad Elkoury’s third solo show in Dubai, which presents the artist’s photographic journey through abandoned soviet military bases.

In a practice spanning more than four decades, Fouad’s work has come to be associated with documentary photography through lands that have experienced strife – with the landscape and architecture pockmarked with human conflict. The current body of work explores a similar topography of war.

After having decided to document abandoned soviet military bases in 2009, Fouad visited dozens of military bases in Poland, Hungary, Estonia and East Germany between 2010 and 2011. Most were aviation fields; others served separate purposes. And despite having being told there was nothing to photograph there, Fouad found the abandoned desolation far more captivating. 

Deserted and invaded by nature, a force far more primal and stronger than weapons of war, the bases have become unserviceable areas of land. The utter silence and emptiness left Fouad the only protagonist in the plot, searching for abandoned stories, and his only ally was light, without which nothing could be seen.

ESSAY: The Mute Witness, by Negar Azimi (pdf)

PROJECT SPACE: Lamya Gargash, Traces 

Group Show


September 12 - October 27, 2011


Artists: Abbas Akhavan, Huda Lutfi, Arwa Abouon, Amir H. Fallah, Fouad Elkoury, Farhad Moshiri, Hassan Hajjaj, Laleh Khorramian, Slavs and Tatars, Susan Hefuna, Youssef Nabil

To begin the fall season, The Third Line invites guest curator Rami Farook to continue a conversation about the state of the world today. Comprising of works from The Third Line, Traffic and The Farook Collection and exhibiting at the two spaces, the show attempts to question and discuss the state of the contemporary environment through artistic representations depicting social behavior, ecology and psychology.

THE STATE: SOCIAL / ANTISOCIAL? is inspired by and, a continuation from, previous shows at Traffic also titled ‘the state’. This exhibition resumes a dialogue explored earlier in shows held at Traffic: THE STATE(2010), the inaugural exhibition, questioned the socio-political state post September 11; anTHE STATE: UPPERS & DOWNERS(2011) ran a commentary on the global condition, from an economic perspective, with the city of Dubai as a focal point. This third installment of investigation combines works from the collection of The Third Line, Traffic and The Farook Collection, and is exhibited at both galleries to connect the conversations previously limited to one physical space. 

Fouad Elkoury

What Happened to My Dreams?

November 12 - December 17, 2009

FE_A Thought For Palestine (Diptych )_2009_Ink Jet Print Mounted On Aluminium _62

Fouad Elkoury’s latest photographic series captures fragments of broken societal values, reflecting the lost ideals of a generation that once held expectations for a fair and just society. Elkoury layers text on black and white and colour photographic montages mounted on aluminium, in a poetic and personal exploration of national aspirations and the dream of the individual.

The show’s title references the social theories of author and filmmaker Paul Virilio, who explores the relationship between image and war technology. Asking the question “ce qui arrive” (“what happened?”), Virilio provides an analysis of the ways in which a militaristic view now dominates an emerging world culture.

Group Show

Roads Were Open / Roads Were Closed

September 10 - October 02, 2008

Road -were -open ---Roads -were -closed

Artists: Fouad Elkoury, Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige, Tarek Al-Ghoussein, Laila Shawa. 

Roads Were Open / Roads Were Closed is an interdisciplinary exhibition which maps varying approaches and practices around the experience, perception and memory of conflict-related trauma featuring works by Fouad Elkoury, Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige, Tarek Al-Ghoussein, Laila Shawa. 

This exhibition will feature a panel discussion with Elkoury and Joreige, as well as a series of films shown over the duration of the exhibition.

Fouad Elkoury's On War and Love is a series of 29 daily journal entries recorded during the 2006 bombardment on and incursion into Lebanon by Israel. The work combines photography and text in order to reveal the artist''''s intimate thoughts as he recounts this event which is doubled by the decision of his partner to leave him.

In Wonder Beirut, Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige retrace the career of Lebanese photographer, Abdallah Farah. In 1975, Farah started damaging the negatives of his postcards, burning them little by little, imitating and simultaneously documenting the battles and bombings of the civil war. Hadjithomas and Joreige both republish these images to record the demise of this city, as well as that of the photographer’s psyche.

Tarek Al-Ghoussein's series ofSelf-Portraits depict the artist in various settings where open spaces and obstacles intercept each other. Based in the UAE, many of his photographs include the artist dwarfed by a vast desert landscape, stuck in front of remnants of walls in the middle of an open space.

London-based Laila Shawa’sWeapons of Mass Destruction is an oversized slingshot, stretched back as if ready for release. Despite the tension within its strips, the rock in its pocket is clearly grounded and presents no danger. 

This exhibition was generously supported by Bank of Sharjah.

Fouad Elkoury

Civilisation (fake=real)

December 02 - December 22, 2006

FE_Construction At Night _2005_Lambda Print _100x 124cm _Ed .of 13_650

In 1982, he covered the Israeli invasion of Beirut and in 1984 published Beyrouth Aller-Retour, a book documenting the bomb-shocked city - a prelude to his sophomore project Beirut City Centre in 1991, and ignited a distinguished bibliography which continues to this day.

Elkoury created the Beirut-based Arab Image Foundation in 1997, and in 2001 introduced video into his repertoire with the filmLettres à Francine to accompany the chiaroscuro-esque photographic series Sombre, withMoving Out (2003) and Welcome to Beirut (2005) to follow.